How to Kill Viruses

Written by melanie fleury
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How to Kill Viruses
Viruses can spread in many different ways, the first line of defence is cleaning. (Virus image by Denis Makarov from Fotolia.com)

With the swine flu scare that recently occurred, many people are concerned about viruses and wanting to protect themselves from them. Viruses are small, infectious organisms that can only reproduce within a host that is living. They are very small, often only visible with the most powerful of microscopes. There are millions of different kinds of viruses found in many different situations. Viruses can be killed in order to protect the host from becoming ill. The No. 1 line of defence in the fight against viruses is to disinfect and clean any areas that could become contaminated.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Soap
  • Disinfectant
  • Hand Cleaners
  • Lotion
  • Steamer

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Wash and clean hands. Viruses can be on one's hands and easily transmitted to eyes, ears, nose and mouth. Washing your hands thoroughly is a great first step to killing viruses. Use a soap or antibacterial cleaner and wash after trips to the bathroom, before consuming food and drink, after touching items (mostly in public places) that have not been disinfected, shaking hands with people, and any other situation where virus contamination could have occurred. Make sure that hands have been washed for at least for 20 seconds and then use a moisturiser or lotion to avoid getting chapped. Chapped hands that have cracks or dry areas provide places that are easy for viruses to enter.

  2. 2

    Heat bathrooms and kitchens. If you have a steamer in your home, it is a great way to add heat in areas to clean viruses. Viruses will die at temperatures of 75 Celsius up to 100 degrees Celsius.

  3. 3

    Disinfect hard surfaces. If you have areas such as counters, desks and doorknobs, disinfect should be sprayed on each of those areas as frequently as possible. Disinfectants will kill viruses, the best disinfectants contain chlorine or bleach. Typically, a solution of 1 tablespoon of bleach to a quart of water is used as a disinfectant as pure bleach can be too harsh on hands and eyes. Hydrogen peroxide is also a good alternative to store bought disinfectant.

  4. 4

    Use antibacterial soap. Antibacterial soaps have active ingredients that work at cleaning and killing many bacteria as well as come viruses.

  5. 5

    Wash all clothing and linens in warm or hot water. The heat will help to kill the viruses. As an added precaution, you can dry on the hot cycle as well to kill any remaining viruses. If you have held the clothes and linens with your bare hands, make sure to clean your hands again after putting your laundry in the wash.

  6. 6

    Clean all dishes with an antibacterial soap and use heat to kill the viruses. If you handwash, clean with soap and keep water as hot as you can stand. If a dishwasher is used, make sure to use the heat cycle at the end, which will kill the viruses as well.

Tips and warnings

  • If you do not have antibacterial soap, an alcohol based cleaner will work to kill viruses as well. Make sure to rub hands until cleaner is completely dry.
  • Washing your hands is the first line of defence, but is only effective when done correctly, with an adequate time of washing while using soaps that are specific to killing bacteria and/or viruses.

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